Unemployment Rate Trick Questions

The news about the unemployment rate shouldn’t impact an appeal, but it does.  In case you missed it, supposedly the unemployment rate dropped to another low rate, like it had in other years. For many of my Clients, this does nothing to help with an appeal.  In fact, it can make matters worse.

Each year seams to create different application question or other issues of significance. This is usually based on cases heard by Minnesota’s Court of Appeals. As a result, every applicant should be on guard for trick questions that ultimately impact their eligibility for unemployment benefits.

Below, I will address these tricks and the pink elephant.

Impacts On Unemployment Appeals

No, the unemployment rate does not impact DEED or unemployment law judges on how they should decide a claim. Instead, it is a term of art.

The term “unemployed” is an economic principle that means a person wants a job, but they do not have a job.  People who do not want a job are not considered unemployed.

When the rate of unemployed workers gets to high, our government (Minnesota and Federal) have the opportunity to extend benefits. We saw this in 2007, 2008, and again during the Covid Pandemic.

In other words, instead of getting unemployment for 26 weeks, people can sometimes receive benefits for 52 weeks (or more).  When this happens, it can cause lots of audits, appeals, and overpayment issues.

Unemployment Rate Stress

The unemployment rate cannot impact whether you apply for a job. Instead, the rate of our unemployed tells us more about wage negotiations. This is true for both a high unemployment rate versus a low rate.

In other words, refrain from allowing your job search process to be impacted by UI stats expressed in the news. For those that allow this to seep into their process, this can be detrimental and raise eligibility and job search issues.

Yes, being unemployed stinks.  But, a new job or a job to help us land a more ideal job is right around the corner. This means that we sometimes need to seek out a job versus a new career. The new career can come later.

Unemployment Trickery

Let’s address the pink elephant in the unemployment office. Every time an Applicant communicates with a representative at the unemployment office (phone person, work force center, judge, etc.), they risk their benefits.  Why would this be?

Minnesota has a long list of eligibility conditions.  These conditions are tricky. Many of these conditions are found at Minnesota rule 268.085. Others are found elsewhere.

For example, imagine talking with the unemployment office and being asked about a job search, which eventually leads to “how many jobs have you applied for?”

Before applicants answer questions embedded or hidden, view all communications as an extension of your application, I like the idea of being prepared.

How Can An Unemployment Lawyer Help?

Attorney Jasper Berg